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STUART H. CUTLER AND CORINNE G. CUTLER v. NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD AND NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP BOARD SUPERVISORS. STUART H. CUTLER AND CORINNE G. CUTLER (12/08/76)

decided: December 8, 1976.

STUART H. CUTLER AND CORINNE G. CUTLER, HIS WIFE
v.
NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD AND NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS. STUART H. CUTLER AND CORINNE G. CUTLER, HIS WIFE, APPELLANTS



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in case of Appeal of Stuart H. Cutler and Corinne G. Cutler, his wife, from the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board, No. 74-7955-08-6.

COUNSEL

Ward F. Clark, with him Pratt, Clark, Gathright & Price, for appellants.

C. David Krewson, with him Stuckert, Yates & Krewson, for appellees.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., and Wilkinson, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.

Author: Bowman

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 431]

This is an appeal by Stuart H. Cutler and Corinne G. Cutler, his wife, from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, dated December 19, 1975, affirming the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board's (Board) denial of an application for a variance. We will affirm.

On August 8, 1973, the appellants purchased a parcel of land comprising approximately twelve acres in

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 432]

Newtown Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, from one John Woll who retained the remaining ninety-three acres surrounding appellants' property. Prior to the purchase, on July 31, 1973, Mr. Cutler had visited the township zoning officer and was advised that he could not conduct horse shows on his property, zoned R-1, since twenty-five acres of land were required for such use by Section 901.4(f), of the Newtown Township Zoning Ordinance.*fn1

Upon occupying the premises in September of 1973, appellants began extensive renovations, including the conversion of a two-story chicken house into a four-unit apartment building. This was done without applying for any zoning or building permits. Some time during October of 1973, the appellants were visited by a zoning officer and were verbally warned to cease work on the project inasmuch as apartments were not permitted in R-1 districts by Section 402.2 of the Ordinance.*fn2 Appellants nevertheless completed the conversion of the structure and occupied it with

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 433]

    tenants. By a letter dated December 10, 1973, the zoning officer issued a cease and desist order.

On April 1, 1974, appellants appealed the order, such appeal consisting of an application for a variance pursuant to Section 1208 of the ordinance to operate the four apartments.*fn3 The application was denied. On appeal, the lower court, without taking additional evidence, affirmed. In such a case, the scope of review of this Court is limited to a determination of whether the Board abused its discretion or committed an error of ...


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